KOCHI: The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), the only airport in the world to be fully powered by solar energy, is set to have the largest carport in an airport in the world and the largest carport in the country soon when solar panels are laid over its second car parking area. According to an official in the sector, the largest carport in an airport in the world is currently at Weeze Airport in Germany with an installed capacity of 4 MW of power.
The existing carport in front of the international terminal of the airport has an overall capacity of generating 2.7 MW power. CIAL, the company that controls the airport, is undertaking work on building another carport in front of the domestic terminal. This carport will have an installed capacity of generating 2.4 MW of power taking the total capacity of carports at the airport to 5.1 MW of power.
CIAL has eight solar plants including the carports and the current total solar power capacity is 30 MW which will go up to 40 MW when the second carport is commissioned by May. Both carports have 1,400 slots each for parking cars and together they will generate 20,000 units of power per day using 24,000 panels. The first carport at Cochin airport was built by Tata Power while the second one is being built by the firm Sterling and Wilson.
“There is also the facility to charge solar cars from the solar power unit and CIAL also plans to purchase a few solar cars for its various uses and to promote use of solar energy. Already one solar car has been purchased for use by the dutyfree shop at the airport. It is estimated that by the year 2040, nearly 90 per cent cars will run on solar energy world over and we are contributing to that,” said a CIAL official....